Venetia van Kuffeler considers her pick of some of the world’s most stunning swimming pools, in both private, rentable homes and fine hotels
With international travel still off the cards, the long British winter plus the events of the past 12 months have given us plenty of time for armchair travel, and to form a wanderlust bucket-list.
With the entire globe to choose from, here we focus on swimming pools – be it infinity, wrap around or thermal – with jaw-dropping views in breathtaking locations. From the winelands of Franschhoek to cool pools in the Cotswolds, hopefully this will offer some inspiration to plan for brighter days ahead…
Sparkling Sea Views in Greece
At the centre of the blissful haven of OMMA Santorini, is the extraordinary double level signature infinity pool which overlooks the Caldera and is one of the largest pools on the whole island. With no surrounding properties in sight, OMMA Santorini opens this summer and promises a place to escape in pure privacy and peace. www.ommasantorini.com/
Gaze at the Glitter
Swim to the edge of the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and gaze down on the glittering expanse of downtown Singapore from 57 floors up. Designed by renowned architect and designer Jean-Michel Gathy of Denniston International, this iconic swimming pool is 150m in length and is designed in such a way that its sides are completely invisible. www.denniston.com.my
World Famous Thermal Waters
The Helena bath at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz in Switzerland provides guests with an opportunity to bathe in world-renowned thermal waters sourced from the neighbouring Tamina Gorge. This historic nineteenth century pool offers a relaxing setting for guests, where they can enjoy, and benefit from, these healing waters. People have been travelling to experience the mystic thermal springs since 1242, making Grand Resort Bad Ragaz one of Europe’s leading wellness and medical health destinations. www.resortragaz.ch/en/
Winelands of South Africa
Set amongst the vineyards of Franschhoek, this stunning villa’s private outdoor pool is the jewel in its crown – the perfect spot to soak up the glorious weather. With panoramic views of the surrounding mountain range and perfect situation in the lush green gardens, guests can truly enjoy the great outdoors in one of South Africa’s most stunning landscapes. Exclusive to Stay One Degree, this villa sleeps up to 13 guests in 6 bedrooms.
The Majestic Pitons
Set high in the hills of St Lucia, the five-star Jade Mountain has 24 open-air Infinity Pool Sanctuaries and five Sky Jacuzzi Suites – each of which have been built without a fourth wall so that guests have panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and the World Heritage Piton Mountains. www.jademountain.com
Sweeping Views of the Amalfi Coast
Originally a Dominican monastery built in the seventeenth century, Monastero Santa Rosa is perched majestically along the heart of the Amalfi Coast. Striking the perfect balance of seclusion without solitude, guests can enjoy quintessential Italian hospitality, and admire panoramic views over the Gulf of Salerno from the hotel’s famous infinity pool.
Owned by the King, the exquisite Royal Mansour was designed to regal standards as a showcase of the country. The ‘medina within the medina’ is made up of 53 individual multi-floor riads, with a labyrinth of underground tunnels that can only be accessed by the 500 staff, ensuring prompt and dedicated service. Guests can while away their days lying by the 80 metre pool in Le Jardin, escaping the midday heat in their luxurious poolside pavilions. www.royalmansour.com/en
This summer, Château de la Messardière joins Airelles’ collection of prestigious and historic French properties that have undergone an extensive renovation. The nineteenth-century palace-classified estate, perched on a hilltop on the outskirts of St Tropez, now has a 240 square metre outdoor swimming pool and terrace.
Set on Muravandhoo, a tiny dot in the Indian Ocean’s remote Raa Atoll, Joali is a castaway paradise surrounded by uninhabited islands just 45 minutes from Male by seaplane. Designed around its palm trees to save as many as possible, picture-perfect Joali has 73 gorgeous beach and over-water villas and an awe-inspiring swimming pool. https://joali.com/
For over 100 years, the iconic Grand Hotel Tremezzo has offered spectacular views of Lake Como and the Grigne Mountains from its 90 rooms. Some of Italy’s finest gastronomy can be found in this elegant Art Nouveau palazzo, and for lakeside relaxation, there are three swimming pools, surrounded by a private park as well as the gorgeous T Spa.
A private enclave of just ten luxury safari tents with 270º views over the Mara plains, Hemingways Ol Seki Mara offers an intimate safari experience and spectacular wildlife viewings. Naboisho has one of the highest densities of lion in Africa, as well as an impressive giraffe and elephant population, so there is plenty to see.
Warm Kenyan hospitality, breathtaking views and unforgettable wildlife characterise each stay here.
This summer, Luxury Cotswold Rentals offer a hand-picked selection of the finest properties available to rent, many of which have beautiful heated swimming pools. Sheepscombe House is a rare quintessentially English gem; a cosy family home that displays impeccable taste and style.
Spanish Sounds and Sights of Nature
La Nava del Barranco is a spectacular villa deep in Don Quixote country with panoramic views, its own stables and the service of a world-class hotel. Guests can explore this rugged landscape on horseback, whilst keeping alert for any wildlife that flurries past: wild dear, eagles, ram and Iberian Lynx. If clay pigeon shooting, hot air ballooning, quad biking, tennis, archery or a picnic seem too much, a swim in the spectular pool should hit the spot. The Niche Traveller (www.niche-traveller.com) can arrange a stay at this exclusive Spanish hideout.